Don't get me wrong I'll give a guy a ride, hot meal and 20$ if asked
I hope you're a good cook as I understand that as an invitation.
[...]I don't have the heart or spirit to gouge someone in the eyes. I just think that's cruel.[...]
You should get used to the idea. I don't mean that you should aim to cripple or kill the attacker, but you should accept that it could happen to him. To be precise you need a certain mindset to be able to defend yourself. Without the mindset to do what is necessary all your training won't help you in a critical situation. You shouldn't restrict yourself in the measures to stay unharmed. Do what is necessary. If running away is possible - fine, do so. If buying the attacker a beer helps to calm him down - fine, do so. If he'd be intimidated when you told him that you'd kick his ass - then do so. But if those non-physical methods don't work you'll have to get physical to stay unharmed and if the attacker takes permanent damage, so be it. The measures and force needed to stop the attack depend on the situation. I'm not talking about revenge, so if you're sure that you definitely stopped his attack and he won't start again, then it's ok to go away and call the police.